The French Tutor: How do you say “Shame on me?”

Ok, so the tutoring session went really well today. Our tutor showed up on time and had everything prepared. We sang songs, baked cookies, colored, worked on a poster board, learned new words, played a game. And she stayed longer than an hour. She spoke mainly French but she knew the kids were totally not getting it and so she would speak to them in English and the repeat it in French. That helped the kids to relax. She spoke 95% French with me and would only transition to English if she knew I was floundering. It was such a great time.

Then came the end when she said, “we need to discuss the rate”. Uh oh. There were several reason we chose this tutor. Her accent is European French, we all connected with her immediately, and, very importantly, she was the cheapest tutor we were looking at. Well, today she said that the rate posted on the internet wouldn’t do for our setup because she was tutoring 2 kids and in some ways me. She said that wouldn’t charge us for three because that would be too expensive but that she would need to add a little for gas because it’s far (for her) from her house. When she told me the rate she was thinking my heart constricted and I had trouble breathing for about thirty minutes afterward.

This is where the shame on me part comes in. When I was looking at the cost of tutors I never even once considered doubling the rates that I was looking at because the tutor would be working with two and really three people. So the rate that she gave me today almost stopped my heart because it was so much more than what I had plastered in my mind. In reality, the rate she gave me today was only $10 to $20 more than what the original should have been.

So, after I calmed down and talked to several people, I realized that it’s probably still a good deal. She has a curriculum and ideas in mind, she is prepared, she is creative and uses different methods for teaching. She comes to our house where we are comfortable and doesn’t mind staying past an hour. In fact she said she doesn’t want to work by the clock. And if I were to double the rates of the other tutors we were considering they would still be far more expensive.

We’re going to make it work. At least for several months to make sure that everything is going well and we feel like the girls are progressing. Bring on the ramen noodles!

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